Review: American Experience "A Class Apart"

Program: American Experience “A Class Apart”
Time: 8 p.m.
Date: Monday, February 23
Preview “A Class Apart” at pbs.org/americanexperience

When we talk about civil rights cases, many people are familiar with the historic case of Brown v. Board but not many are familiar with a case that is just as important, Hernandez v. Texas.  This historical case that went all the way to the Supreme Court is the focus of the documentary “A Class Apart.”

Earlier this month, KLRU had a special screening of “A Class Apart” at Austin’s Mexican American Cultural Center. Filmmaker Carlos Sandoval was present to introduce the film and to answer questions from the individuals that packed the auditorium at the Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC). Folks present at the screening of this American Experience program included judges, attorneys, state representatives and various members from the Latino community.  I have to say, I had never heard about the Hernandez case until I saw this documentary and I hope that more people will realize the significance of the case with the airing of “A Class Apart” on February 23rd on KLRU.

During the Q&A session one person mentioned the “Sundown Towns”.  This refers to some Texas cities where Latinos had to be careful to not be out after the sun went down because they could face punishment as severe as death.  I grew up in a different time and a different place where racism and discrimination was not as common as back in the 50s but I have to say that watching this documentary made me realize how lucky I was to have been born after Hernandez v. Texas.  Still we should not forget the struggles that others went through and I hope that the Latino
community gets the word out and tells their friends to tune in and watch American Experience on Monday February 23rd so they can watch the documentary “A Class Apart” and learn more about Hernandez v. Texas.

— Elena Ramirez

Elena Ramirez is a producer at KLRU.  She prefers to stay behind the scenes and hardly steps in front of the camera.  She is currently working on producing a television program about the Latino culture in Texas and beyond.